This is great investigative journalism. I have two thoughts.
One: The living conditions of 99% of egg-laying chickens in this country are awful.
Two: The recommendation to "make sure that you're buying the right brands," of eggs, that is, authentic, free-range, and organic, shows lack of concern for the millions who do not have this choice. When 1% of the eggs in this country fall into that category, when these 1% are being sold in esoteric shops and farmers' markets, when these 1% are priced out-of-budget for millions of Americans,* statements such as this are, at a minimum, tactless.
Also, has it been determined that free-range, organic eggs from small farms are the "safest in the marketplace?"
An alternative to passing moral judgment upon those who buy the 99% of eggs that are industrially produced could be to petition Congress to make authentic free-range organic eggs available to everyone. Tell them to allow SNAP ("Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program" formerly known as "Food Stamp Program") and WIC funds to be used for their purchase. Subsidize their production?
* The video shows farmers' market eggs selling for $4.25/dozen. Whole Foods Market sells Vital Farms eggs for $4 for 6 eggs.
The USDA said in 2009 that "about 1 in 5 Americans participates" in food assistance programs. Those are the ones that participate, not the ones that are eligible. These numbers have ballooned in the last two years during the economic downturn.
Food assistance programs exist to provide children, families, seniors, and others in need access to a more healthful diet (while at the same time promoting certain agricultural industries). We pay for this food assistance through our taxes. We direct how these funds are used through our vote. We currently tell our government administrators not to cover the cost of authentic free-range organic eggs for food assistance recipients.
This is from a WIC brochure instructing consumers which eggs to buy:
- "Do Not Buy" egg graphic from Washington State's Department of Health WIC Program (pdf) (WIC is a federal nutrition program for Women, Infants, and Children). The rest of that brochure, which reflects standards in other states, is similarly eye-opening.